Explore Options for Housing in Retirement

Whether You Need to Use Home Equity for Retirement Expenses or Can Afford to Buy a Vacation Home Retirement Housing Should Be Considered Carefully

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Perhaps the most personal as well as critical decisions facing seniors are questions of housing.

  • Do you want to age in place?
  • Retire abroad on the beach?
  • Tap your home equity for other retirement expenses?
  • How will your housing needs evolve over all the years you are retired?

For most retirees, their home is their most significant asset and greatest source of comfort. And while it may be dear – in more ways than one – you do need to consider whether or not your current home and community is the right place for retirement.

According to a Del Webb survey of baby boomers, 55 percent of all baby boomers plan to move when they retire. There are many good reasons to consider downsizing or relocating:

The MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Council on Aging recently published "The MetLife Study on the Changing Role of Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages." The study identified four key principles that they think should guide how you use your home equity to fund retirement.

Their principles suggest that your plan for using home equity should:

  • Be holistic and comprehensive -- Look at all of your resources and goals and include home equity as part of a larger financial view.
  • Promote flexibility -- Your plan needs to meet both your long and short-term retirement goals.
  • Accommodate changes -- Financial, health and family needs and risks change as people grow older -- a Reverse Mortgage should be considered in light of how life might change.
  • Seek solutions that offer overall financial security.